Daily CSR
Daily CSR

Daily CSR
Daily news about corporate social responsibility, ethics and sustainability

Driving Sustainability and Profitability: The Role of IT Modernization and AI


Organizations are integrating technology modernization and sustainability into their core business processes to achieve a significant improvement in business performance. This involves enhancing user support tools to assist business leaders in making complex decisions related to optimizing cost, service level, working capital, and sustainability.
Generative AI is playing a pivotal role in transforming businesses and has garnered the attention of global business leaders. As CEOs respond to and embrace generative AI, they face the formidable challenge of moving forward swiftly and responsibly while maintaining trust among their employees, shareholders, and the business itself.
The findings of the annual CEO study, titled "CEO decision-making in the age of AI, Act with intention," indicate that 75% of CEOs surveyed believe that having the most advanced generative AI will be crucial for gaining a competitive advantage.
According to the IBM Institute for Business Value's CEO study, CEOs now consider productivity or profitability as their highest business priority, a significant jump from sixth place in 2022. They also recognize that technology modernization is vital for achieving their productivity goals, ranking it as their second highest priority. However, CEOs encounter obstacles as they race to modernize and adopt new technologies like generative AI.
While CEOs strongly believe in the benefits of generative AI for their organizations, there seems to be a disconnect with their executive teams regarding AI readiness. Although 69% of CEOs acknowledge the broad benefits of generative AI, only 29% of their executive teams agree that they possess the in-house expertise to adopt generative AI.
Despite the shift in priorities, sustainability remains a major challenge for business leaders. CEOs identify environmental sustainability as their top challenge for the next three years. Executives face barriers when striving to make progress towards their larger sustainability goals. These barriers include difficulties in managing manual data, unclear return on investment and economic benefits, lack of insights from data, and regulatory obstacles.
However, it is important to note that sustainability and profitability can coexist. Forward-thinking organizations are leveraging sustainability as an opportunity to propel their business forward and establish greater transparency regarding their sustainability commitments.
Developing a well-balanced roadmap for sustainability and profitability is a crucial initial step in propelling organizations forward in the era of AI. This roadmap enables leaders to identify opportunities and gaps within the current IT environment, facilitating more informed decision-making. Leveraging data and AI to support sustainability objectives is an effective approach for driving productivity.
The corporate boardrooms have taken notice of the correlation between sustainability and profitability, holding CEOs responsible for their company's sustainability initiatives. In fact, the percentage of CEOs whose compensation is tied to specific sustainability metrics has more than tripled from the previous year, exceeding 50% in the present year.
Modernizing IT environments offers various benefits for organizations in terms of data management and progress towards sustainability goals. These benefits include:
Implementing AI to automate manual data processes and generate secure and reliable outputs.

Adopting Green IT solutions that can reduce an enterprise's IT carbon footprint and potentially lower computing costs by up to 30%.

Utilizing advanced analytics platforms that facilitate transparent management of sustainability data across value chains, providing a single point of truth for sustainability analysis and promoting greater transparency.

To delve deeper into the interplay between sustainability, CEOs, and the role of AI, it is crucial to recognize that sustainability is a collaborative effort that requires leadership across the entire organization to drive substantial and enduring change. CEOs and other decision-makers must prioritize sustainability as an imperative and a driver for business success.